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Quick Takes: News You May Have Missed

Aaron Klein

Aaron Klein

Leftist Group Pushes ‘New Wage Floor’

A far-left think tank founded with input from President Obama is pushing a plan for private retail stores like Walmart to create a “new wage floor” that hikes workers’ wages by at least 27 percent to $12.25 per hour.

The scheme is outlined in a new study published by Demos, a longtime partner of the disgraced ACORN activist group.

Unmentioned in the Demos study is that the new wage floor is modeled after another Demos plan for a living wage that devastated business when it was attempted in some cities in the 1990’s as a pet project of ACORN.

According to Demos’s own website, Obama served on the working group that founded Demos while he was a state senator in 1999.

Last month, Demos released a 15-page research paper entitled, “Retail’s Hidden Potential: How Raising Wages Would Benefit Workers, the Industry and the Overall Economy.” It urges the instatement of a new wage floor for the lowest-paid private retail workers, equivalent to $25,000 per year – or $12.25 per hour – for a full-time, year-round retail worker at the nation’s largest retail companies – identified as those employing at least 1,000 workers.

The White House itself indicated support for the living wage concept in documents obtained by the Associated Press in February 2010, showing that the Obama administration was considering a policy that would give an advantage in bids for billions in government contracts to companies that pay workers “living wages” and offer generous benefits.

A “living wage” was implemented in 80 cities from the mid-1990s to 2003, sometimes spearheaded by ACORN.

The living wage movement got its start in mid-1990s Baltimore, when a coalition of left-leaning church leaders, unionists, and community activists largely led by ACORN began to push for a “social compact” that included a hike in the minimum wage to $6.10 – 43 percent above the federal minimum wage at the time.

But Baltimore’s economy soon crashed, with 58,000 jobs disappearing, even as the rest of Maryland added 120,000 jobs and other cities across the country prospered.

Another locale that enacted a living wage bill soon to see its economy burn was Milwaukee County in Wisconsin, which passed a law increasing the minimum wage only for city-contracted janitors and security guards to $6.25 an hour.

Leftist Wouldn’t Mind ‘Computer Meltdown’
Of Conservative Website

Writing in the Huffington Post, a senior fellow at a George Soros-funded radical think tank with close ties to the Democratic Party seemingly threatened the conservative Discover The Networks website in response to an article from this reporter.

Discover The Networks, launched by former radical turned conservative David Horowitz, is a central database that maps out left-wing agendas, activists and causes.

“I’ve got friends, too – and they’ve got friends, and they’ve got friends, and they’ve got friends … enough to cause a computer meltdown at Discover The Networks,” wrote Richard Eskow, senior fellow at Campaign for America’s Future, or CAF.

The veiled threat was issued in a Huffington Post blog piece responding to an article by this reporter documenting how the CAF had launched a new website urging politicians and activists to wage class warfare.

The new website, WageClassWar.org, also hailed what CAF called a new era in politics – the use of class warfare to win elections.

Hamas Steps Up Bribes Of Egyptian Soldiers

Hamas has doubled the number of Egyptian soldiers being paid off to help facilitate the smuggling of weapons, including rockets and missiles, into the Gaza Strip, according to informed Israeli security sources.

The information comes one week after this column reported that Hamas had formed a common committee with Al Qaeda-linked groups in the Gaza Strip to strategize the coordination of smuggling weapons into Gaza.

Informed Israeli security sources noted that after Israel’s campaign in Gaza – which ended with a U.S. and Egypt-brokered cease-fire – Hamas immediately freed scores of members of Al Qaeda and related Jihadiya Salafiya terrorist groups from its jails.

U.S. And EU Closely Monitoring Jewish Construction

The Obama administration and European Union are closely monitoring Jewish construction in an eastern section of Jerusalem where Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government announced the planned building of 3,400 new homes, a European envoy in Tel Aviv told this column.

The European envoy confirmed a story in Israel’s Ynetnews website reporting that last week’s European protest against the construction of new Jerusalem homes was coordinated with the Obama administration, according to an Israeli official.

Israel’s Higher Planning Council of the Israel Defense Forces’ Civil Administration vowed to go forward with plans to construct the new homes in what is known as the E-1 corridor between Ma’ale Adumim, an eastern Jerusalem suburb and a neighborhood closer to western Jerusalem called Pisgat Zeev.

Last month, this column reported that Obama administration diplomats were monitoring Jewish housing construction projects in two Jerusalem neighborhoods, according to informed Israeli officials. The U.S. consular staff had visited Gilo and Pisgat Zeev, two entirely Jewish neighborhoods in the eastern sections of Jerusalem, the officials said.

This column first reported in 2009 that the Obama administration had set up an apparatus to closely monitor Jewish construction in Jerusalem and the strategic West Bank to the point of watching Israeli moves house-to-house in certain key neighborhoods, according to Israeli officials.

In March 2009, Obama’s then-Middle East envoy, George Mitchell, oversaw the establishment of an enhanced apparatus based in the U.S. consulate in Jerusalem that closely monitors the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem neighborhoods, incorporating regular tours of the areas, at times on a daily basis, the officials said.

About the Author: Aaron Klein is a New York Times bestselling author and senior reporter for WND.com. He is also host of an investigative radio program on New York's 970 AM Radio on Sundays from 7 to 9 p.m. Eastern. His website is KleinOnline.com.


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